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Dear Mr. President,

Last week, the low temperature in Chinook, Mont., was 43 degrees below zero.

But it felt even colder after we read that your budget proposes to take billions from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)--while spending $53 billion to build high-speed railways for cities out East.

I understand the value of rail. But I also understand the value of a dollar. And with our budget already stretched to the breaking point, we have to fund needs, not wants. If you came out to Chinook, you'd meet a few of the over 30,000 Montana families who desperately need LIHEAP to heat their homes to make it through to spring. And maybe you'd understand that your budget priorities are off-track for any part of rural America going through another freezing winter.

I urge you to reconsider the priorities in this budget. And I warn you that I will not support a budget that hurts rural families like this. Mr. President, please send us a budget that creates jobs, cuts spending--and doesn't leave Montana families out in the cold.


Sen. Jon Tester

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